Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Take one part joy and one part loss and mix. 2013 !!!!

This year has been overwhelming.
 Sometimes so overwhelmingly heart breaking that I didn't even recognize myself in my responses. 
And yet so many extremely joyous things happened for our family, too.

 6 years in a tiny two bedroom apartment finally paid off and what seemed so impossible throughout 
much of the journey became reality. Every thing about us gettin into this house is a miracle. The neighbor's are still shakin their heads in wonder ;)

We have filled this house to the brim with life.....

And we've made it a home. People who pass through always say the same thing,
"It feels like a real home."

The first night here my best friend could not help but dance uninhibited in our empty dining room.
It was tangible joy that night, felt by one who truly loves us......

This year we've made a house a home.....

We've played outside without steppin in other people's dog poo, which is totally a big deal if you were an apartment shut-in for most of your children's lives...

This year I taught a group of girls the importance of forgiveness.
I poured my heart into the teaching, hoping with all faith that they would see that it is life and death to us.
Months later, I was the student of my own teaching......

 We had some extremely trying times within our family when we took in a few precious members.
We opened our hearts and homes to be a safe place for them but found out in one of life's hardest classrooms that you cannot, as much as your heart wills it, change the course of another family.

 In our efforts to be a voice for those without one,
we put a wall between us and the rest of our family.......
 But that wall was being built by God for another reason we would never have dared to dream of.
As we became a fortified city and a unified team, the most rewarding gift from God was coming our way....

 Our life is now a safe place and goodness flows like a river through it. What a miracle that the little girl who was adopted 13 years ago would find us through this blog! God, I am so thankful for your continuing mercies and love.
If we allow Him, He makes beauty from ashes.....

 This year we lost most of our family relationships. 
And we have gained more than we deserve.....
 2013 saw my other half gettin sucked into the blog lifestyle...
 No longer merely a side liner in photos but an active member of Boo Bobby....
 And I've got to give a lot of credit for that to the box of toys The Goodwill Geek sent.
In the time we spent around the table over it's contents somethin happened.... he crossed over ;)
 I met some truly amazing bloggers this year and was given some awesome gifts.
The stuff isn't what really moved me. It was being thought of, being "known" like that by others out there....

I took a lot of photos with inanimate objects.
In 2013 they are now called "Selfies" and I can't stand the narcissism in that phrase ;)
Can't a gal just pose with toys ?!

 We celebrated birthdays in our home and were able to have real parties and gatherings for the first time!

 Hmmm. Realizing that Gabe apparently had no birthday. Cannot even recall it, not even a wisp!
 I wanted to meet a fellow blogger who I've really come to love and I made it happen!
Okay, that sounded a bit stalkery and weird. It totally wasn't like that ;)

 I did my first ever paid (sort of) photo booth, a venture that lived in my heart for quite some time.
It was a total hit and I am happy to say that I'm confident to move forward in it!

In 2013 we experienced some pretty tight hand to mouth moments in our finances. We dug in and just decided to push harder and some cool things happened in both of us. I got out from a blanket of lifelong insecurity and put myself out there for commissioned "artwork" and such........
 I also found out how shiesty people were when it came to handmade goods and services.
Oh my gosh, I've developed a shrewd business approach out of disgust alone! I'll be darned if I work for peanuts in 2014. I'm serious as a heart attack on this one....

 We strung our first Christmas lights. Woo Hoo!!
 Lay in our first snow! Even if it was faux snow...... ;)
 Had our first roller night :)

Was at the event of the year where I saw my mentor, Carmen Sifuentez become Carmen Maxwell.......

It was such an epic occasion that I got my hair did for the first time.
And at 31 years old. Some things just take time, folks ;)
 Was humbled beyond belief to lead a weekend youth retreat for S.O.S. Ministries.
And believe me, this was no craft and circle time event. There was true healing goin on within the hearts of these precious little girls.....

 This was also the first time I fell asleep smiling in all my life.....

So those were the highlights, folks. And some of the dumb stuff ;)
We took down all the Christmas flair, our first ever in this home of ours and I can speak for myself when I say that I am ready.
 For all the new beginnings that can possibly come my way.....
I'm not a resolver but more of a decider ;) Here's my Big decisions.
I decide to give honor and credit and glory to God for all things in my life.
I decide to spend only a fraction of my time on the endless rainbow ride we call Internet.
I decide to not let the family hurts jade me and steal my passion for child advocacy in the coming year.
I decide to organize the crap out of this house. It helps me perform better and that lends to prosperity.
I decide to hack away at my passion for a photo booth business. After looking online at what the Houston area offers I am certainly underwhelmed. There's definitely room for me and Jerome!
I decide to take better care of my family's health in the foods we consume.
I decide to love this man more than anything else. To respect him, honor him and make sure his sock drawer never goes empty again ;)